PORTUGAL — Months after changing coaches, Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 to capture the Champions League championship for the first time in a decade.
Kai Havertz’s goal in the 42nd minute proved to be the difference as the Blues upset the heavily favored Manchester City to bring the trophy back home. Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic made history when he came on as a substitute in the 66th minute, becoming the first American to play in a UEFA Champions League final.
“It’s been a difficult road for me, and I couldn’t imagine winning the Champions League ever in my life, and now I’m here,” he said after the match.
Trailing by a goal in the second half, Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola brought on strikers Sergio Agüero and Gabriel Jesus to try and find the equalizer. However, Chelsea’s defense proved to be too strong as the Blues earned both a clean sheet and a title.
“Decisions are always to try to win the game,” said Guardiola on the second half lineup. “The way we played the game in the second half, they had one counter attack with Pulisic. They’re a really good team, but we competed perfectly against them. In the second half we deserved to score one goal but we couldn’t do it.”
Chelsea’s win comes after Frank Lampard was fired in January and Thomas Tuchel was brought on. Tuchel took the Blues into the top four Premier League and now has delivered them a championship, becoming Europe’s best.
“To share it with everybody is incredible. We made it. Wow. I don’t know what to feel,” said Tuchel. “I was so grateful to arrive a second time (in the final). I felt different. The (players) were determined to win this. We wanted to be a stone in their (City’s) shoe. We encouraged everybody to step up and step out, to be more brave.”